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Newsletter Autumn 2021

Newsletter Autumn 2021

Handing over the reins

Newsletter Autumn 2021In 1976 John Varney bought High Trenhouse, then a neglected farmstead. In the 90s, he and Bernadette transformed it into a unique facility for group learning and corporate retreats. It is a shining example of how the resources of National Parks can nurture the soul of the nation.

This year, while adapting to the constraints of the Covid pandemic, they have been looking for a successor. Now they are pleased to be handing the reins to Stuart Morris, as new owner.

Newsletter Autumn 2021Stuart, who runs the International College of Professional Celebrants, is bringing in Mike Chitty who will live at High Trenhouse and take over responsibilities for day to day operational management. Mike is a coach/consultant with long and broad experience across public, private, voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors.  Since the 1980s, Mike has been visiting Malham Moor, where he planted trees with the Leeds University Conservation Volunteers. He combines sensitivity to the special qualities of the place with a fresh approach to organisational challenges. These are exciting times as both property and customers benefit from fresh ideas and new funding.

John and Bernadette will move to their house in the Languedoc. They will continue to coach and support individual clients, mostly via Zoom and with the prospect of returning to High Trenhouse occasionally with client groups.

Thank you

Of course, we did none of it alone! We would like to say a big thank you to our current team, who will continue to deliver. Thanks also to the very many people, mostly local and our friends and neighbours, who have worked with us or otherwise contributed over the years. Thank you to our clients, customers and participants, across all sectors and from many parts of the world. Thanks to our suppliers. Thank you, too, to our many sources of inspiration, our fellow facilitators, tutors, authors and creative thinkers.  It has been a wonderful experience and a great journey towards wholeness and light. Thank you all.

What people need

Newsletter Autumn 2021It is profoundly moving to look back over 45 years and see how great ideas and good relationships have emerged through processes of continuous learning. High Trenhouse attracts individuals who have been touched by its magic in the past, bringing them back with new groups to share a development journey. Now, of course, with stimulus from the pandemic, we can enjoy working online, as well as face to face. See Events, below, for two examples. Contact Sue to book your events.

Adaptable spaces

Newsletter Autumn 2021Due to the pandemic, we are still using Northend’s meeting room as our dining room. The meeting room in Bennett’s has thus adapted, chameleon-like, to become, for instance, Carole Baker’s art studio, quite often a Yoga room and play-space for family gatherings. It has also catered for blended learning, with some participants present and others joining via Zoom! The Zoomers don’t get to walk round the Tarn!

Contact Sue to book your events.

Recent client feedback

“The landscape, the building and the team together create a very special space for thinking, regenerating and creating!” CEO RAF Museum

Yorkshire Dales

Newsletter Autumn 2021In 1978, a Yorkshire Dales National Park report for Malham clearly identified problems such as the dearth of public transport, pressure of tourism (especially car parking and traffic), unsustainability of agriculture, paucity of tree cover, outmigration of young people due to excessive property prices and so on. Since the problems identified fifty years ago have not been adequately addressed, those issues are much worse today.

It appears that the National Park are beholden to people who want to “conserve” a sheep desert and so they fail to deal with the basics. Is it possible that local dialogue can begin to address the issues, before all is lost? Email Mike if you want to start a conversation.

The environment and sustainability

Newsletter Autumn 2021COP 26 has just ended in great disappointment with an opportunity wasted. Isn’t it amazing how people find it hard to change fast enough to avert disaster. At High Trenhouse, we were heavily into sustainability and self-sufficiency from our earliest days – now we are re-thinking how to build on those foundations, meanwhile seeking to inspire others as the crisis deepens. An important source of inspiration is mostly free! Listen to the forest floor or hug a tree! (for example). Do it with an open heart and mind and you will be amazed at what you learn.

By way of introduction, try reading “Finding the Mother Tree” by Suzanne Simard – intuition and sound science are a wonderful combination!

Forthcoming events

Trans-national climate-change zoom groups, Virtual Dialogues and The Hero’s Journey will help raise awareness, without which society will continue to drift towards disaster. Here are two series of events that will engage and inspire, regardless of your level of responsibility.

Hero’s Journey series

Newsletter Autumn 2021Run jointly by John Varney and Mike Chitty, is relevant to anyone looking for more meaning in life. The next series, loosely based on John’s book “Leadership as Meaning Making“, will start in the New Year. Nine months of development with three-hour, monthly online sessions, access to online resources and 1 to 1 coaching, for £1250 per person.

A 5 day residential format of the Hero’s Journey programme will take place at High Trenhouse in the summer at £1750 per person. Get in touch with Mike or John to find out more.


Discover the verbal art-form of Dialogue, in the style of David Bohm, which can help you explore the sources of significance. Join a group that meets online for two hours every month. You get continuity, with the opportunity to stretch your thinking, as you make new friends. Sign up for six months for only £120. Contact John for more details.

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